What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

Making Sense Of DRAM


Graham Allan, senior manager for product marketing at Synopsys, examines the different types of DRAM, from GDDR to HBM, which markets they’re used in, and why there is such disparity between them. https://youtu.be/ynvcPfD2cZU     __________________________________ See more tech talk videos here. » read more

Softening Hardware: Using Application-Specific Processors to Optimize Modern SoC Designs


Over the past decade, the trend in SoC design has been to add more functionality into programmable logic, but moving functionality from hardware into software comes at a cost: software requires a processor, which, if not designed for optimal efficiency, could be slower and use more power than dedicated hardware. It often makes sense to implement smaller, specialized processors to tackle specifi... » read more

Autonomous Vehicle Design Begins To Change Direction


Tools that are commonly used in semiconductor design are starting to be applied at the system level for assisted and autonomous vehicles, setting the stage for more complex simulated scenarios and electronic system design. Simulation is well understood for designing automotive ICs, but now it also is being used to design vehicle architectures and sensors, as well as for sensor miniaturizatio... » read more

IP Tracking and Management


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP tracking and management with Ranjit Adhikary, VP of marketing for ClioSoft; Jim Bruister, director digital systems (since retired) at Silvaco; Marc Greenberg, product marketing group director at Cadence; and Kelvin Low, VP of Marketing at Arm. What follows are excerpts from that conversation. SE: What is the scope of the problem? What are ... » read more

Why 56Gb/s And 112Gb/s SerDes Matter In Our Daily Social-Media-Driven Lives


Hyper-scalers and service providers are moving from 100GbE to 400GbE Ethernet rates and beyond. Wireline and wireless networks are driving new architectures to support the move from 4G LTE to 5G infrastructure. These transitions are driven by the increasing global IP traffic as the world becomes more connected and digital. At the same time, the decentralization of the cloud and data centers are... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

Containing Design Complexity With POP IP


About 25 years ago, Carver Mead, one of the pioneers of VLSI design, told a technical audience then grappling with the complexities of quarter-micron design that he could see an evolutionary path to about 130nm, but after that point, the picture blurred. Flash forward to the present and we’re manufacturing SoCs at 7nm, and the output is truly amazing devices powering applications we and Me... » read more

It’s Time For Companies To Embrace IP Management


Everything is a rat race these days. You can see everyone scurrying around trying to be ahead of everyone else. It is the same wherever you look, be it at schools, at work, at the grocery store, on the roads. Semiconductor companies – big and small alike – are more intent than ever on trying to be the first to get their SoCs into the market. Some are bound by cultures and traditions on ... » read more

Design For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging techniques are viewed as either a replacement for Moore's Law scaling, or a way of augmenting it. But there is a big gap between the extensive work done to prove these devices can be manufactured with sufficient yield and the amount of attention being paid to the demands advanced packaging has on the design and verification flows. Not all advanced packaging places the same... » read more

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